Structural Interventions in Networks

48 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021 Last revised: 8 Nov 2022

See all articles by Yang Sun

Yang Sun

Sichuan University - School of Economics

Wei Zhao

School of Economics, Renmin University of China

Junjie Zhou

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management

Date Written: October 31, 2022

Abstract

Two types of interventions are commonly implemented in networks: characteristics interventions, which influence individuals’ intrinsic incentives, and structural interventions, which target the social links among individuals. In this paper we provide a general framework to evaluate the distinct equilibrium effects of both types of interventions. We show that any structural intervention is outcome equivalent to an endogenously determined characteristics intervention. This perspective provides several advantages in the analysis of targeting structural interventions, compared with approaches in the literature. We present a wide range of applications of our theory, including evaluating a potential new link in a community, identifying the most wanted criminal(s) in delinquent networks, and determining whether a structural intervention improves certain welfare measures. Several extensions are also discussed.

Keywords: Structural intervention; Characteristics intervention; Centrality; Key group; Targeting

JEL Classification: D21; D29; D82

Suggested Citation

Sun, Yang and Zhao, Wei and Zhou, Junjie, Structural Interventions in Networks (October 31, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3777029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3777029

Yang Sun (Contact Author)

Sichuan University - School of Economics

Chengdu, Sichuan
China

Wei Zhao

School of Economics, Renmin University of China ( email )

No. 59 Zhongguancun Street
Haidian District
Beijing, 100872
China

Junjie Zhou

Tsinghua University - Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management ( email )

Beijing
China

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